Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter.
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"Draco," Hermione began in a mildly interested tone, twirling a strand of his hair. "What's your Patronus?"
Her husband paused, strangely hesitant before answering her seemingly casual enquiry. He cleared his throat to fill the disturbed silence before speaking quickly. "It's a silver, semi-transparent vapour that forms a certain shape and protects me against Dementors and other dark fiends I don't desire eating me."
"Yes," she stated with amusement, a smile on her lips, "but what exactly is this certain shape?" This time Draco didn't answer, but turned his face away in such a manner that she couldn't read his expression, a talent he knew she had perfected. This just made Hermione all the more curious of his sudden awkwardness; she sniggered and adjusted herself in his lap so he was forced to face her once more.
What she saw made the corners of her mouth twitch. "Are you blushing?"
His jaw tightened, the pink tinges on his cheeks brightened. "No," he said firmly. "Malfoy's don't blush. It's degrading."
Hermione laughed and embraced him with good humour.
"It's okay," she stated soothingly. "It can't be that bad."
He glared at her, eyes squinting with playful seriousness. "How much are you willing to wager on that?"
"Enough to want to know what it is."
It was a challenge, she always enjoyed a good challenge.
"I apologise in advance for disappointing you," he said calmly. "But the only way you'll find out is on my deathbed."
Hermione scoffed and pouted. "You don't love me Draco?" she teased.
"I love you," he stated with a creased brow. "I just don't trust you not to laugh."
He winced, knowing he said the wrong thing – Hermione stared at him piercingly.
"You don't trust me?"
By those four words, he knew he was sleeping on the couch that night.
She ignored him.
She scowled under the covers, burying her head under her pillow.
He was trying to coax her out of hiding. Prat.
"My beautiful, intellectual goddess?"
Now he was just sucking-up. "Yes?" she inquired stiffly.
"I'm sure you are."
"Good for you."
"I love you."
A sigh and a silence. "I love you too."
He beamed triumphantly and embraced her in a tender hug.
The next morning Draco was awoken much earlier than be would have liked on a Saturday by Hermione's ear-splitting muggle hairdryer – the very same deafening instrument that she had insisted on continuing its use when they got married, forcing him roll out from under the lukewarm blankets and follow the sound into the bathroom.
Hermione stood in front of the mirror, glimpsing him in the reflection, she smiled.
"We are leaving in one hour." she said carelessly, applying a thin layer of lipstick. Draco didn't mind her use of muggle cosmetics, it wasn't used as often as her other strange belongings. Like the stereo, he shuddered. It took him a while longer than necessary to focus on her words, not recalling the obvious statement, he rubbed the back of his neck and grimaced at the ache of his rather uncomfortable awakening.
"Are we going somewhere?" he asked, his voice was dry and the brightness of the sun shinning through the window made him squint with displeasure.
Hermione obviously wasn't pleased with his inquiry.
"We are going to visit my friends."
Draco gave a groan of irritation, but before he could open his mouth to protest, she continued.
"To which you promised on joining me. No excuses Draco, I expect you ready in one hour."
He scowled and rubbed the sleep from his face. "Yes mother." he muttered.
"I heard that."
The tie itched.
He pulled at it, making his neck ache. It was cutting off his circulation. Although, the idea of no blood flowing directly to his brain appealed to him more than a cosy gathering with Potter and the Weasleys. True, they were on a civil-tongue basis for Hermione's sake, but that didn't mean a few snide comments weren't thrown about when she wasn't in the room. "Well, how are you, Draco?" Mrs. Weasley greeted kindly, he always liked her, and her cooking. "Your new job is well?" Such a kind-hearted, well-skilled woman.
"Everything is wonderful, thank you. I trust your fine yourself?"
"I am better than fine," she placed a hand on her apron-covered bosom with pride, "to be a grandmother soon, I'm sure you've heard!"
"I have," Draco said politely, he couldn't help but smile at her joy. "Hermione told me Fleur is due early next year. My congratulations."
"Thank you," the older woman beamed with excitement, her face flushed. "I have ten outfits already knitted, most a pale yellow what with it being neutral and Fleur wanting a surprise. I have the needles running non-stop, and even had Arthur help me try one without a spell..." she gazed idly at the six-inch metal stick struck deep into the wall and the jumble of knotted wool that she quickly tucked under the couch before looking away quickly. "It didn't go as planned."
Draco tried to hide a chuckle with encouragement. "That's wonderful, Molly." He took a sip of his tea then placed it back onto the table. There was a courteous silence.
"Speaking of the subject," Mrs. Weasley added cunningly. "When are you and Hermione planning on having children?"
The question startled him, but he covered it up with another quick mouthful. He swallowed slowly.
"I don't think…" he began carefully. "I don't think we'll be thinking about that for a while. Hermione is very dedicated to her work."
And she isn't quite ready to steal Fleur's spot-light with the news of our own just yet...
He couldn't help but smile at the thought, hoping Mrs. Weasley mistook it was a polite gesture rather than a mellowed version of his beaming pride.
A few more words were spoken, he excused himself from the conversation before it got too discomfited (plus his brain kept flashing: the old woman knows too much! at a consistant rate) and paced himself around the Burrow, searching for any signs of Hermione. He found her in the garden, exchanging light conversation with her close friend Ginny Potter while her husband and brothers played a sociable game of Quidditch.
"Draco!" Hermione called with a grin, kissing him soundly once he reached her seat. "Ginny and I were discussing dinner plans."
"Among other things..." the red-haired woman beside them mumbled smugly with a slight leer. He had no time to appear anything but curious as to what she meant when two broomsticks swooped boldly down towards them with increasing speed, knocking him into his chair with a surprised gasp.
"Oi, Draco!" one of the Weasley twins exclaimed with a laugh, winking. "If our eavesdropping skills do not fail us –"
The other twin continued, "- you seem to have a humiliating Patronus form that you refused to show even your significant other!"
Hermione gaped. "Fred! George!" she cried out at them flying overhead. "You were listening?"
"Sorry, Mrs. Malfoy," one answered, Draco had been too stunned to react more then a blink, "couldn't resist."
The other men chuckled from the air, most landed to obtain bottles of butterbeer that laid unopened on the table that Hermione, Ginny and himself remained seated. Potter leaned on his wife's chair, appearing amused as he rested his chin against the frame. "What?" Draco spat out of habit and anger, receiving a mere annoyed glance from Hermione.
"Nothing," Harry answered with a shrug. "We're just all curious to what it is, that's all."
"A toad?" inquired the Weasley, Ron, sniggering under his uncorked bottle. "Or a rat?"
Hermione flared, her eyes shooting an angry stare. "That's enough." she snapped, scolding him.
They all knew what it meant when Hermione started one of her tones, the Weasley's retired inside along with Potter, leaving him with the two girls to glare disapprovingly at their departing backs. Once they were gone, Hermione gazed at him, in thought. "What's wrong?" Draco asked anxiously, she tilted her head so Ginny could not read her words.
"It's not a toad…" she mouthed uneasily. "Is it?"
A long day, Hermione didn't mean for Draco to be mocked about his Patronus figure for five straight hours. She felt incredibly guilty and he had barely said a word since they arrived home. Every time she tried to talk to him he would only grunt in acknowledgement or answer a question with either a short agreement or decline.
He was sitting broodingly by the fire, she bit her lip sadly, cradling the small buldge on her stomach she came up behind him and snuggling into his neck.
"I'm sorry," she said earnestly, the firelight flickered through the room. "I really am."
"You're really wonderful to put up with all that and not lose your temper."
"Honestly Draco," her temper rose at his stubbornness. "Stop sulking like a spoiled child and answer me when I'm trying to apologise!"
His grey eyes bore into her. "If you hadn't said anything there would be no need for me to sulk! Typical women, gossiping like a bunch of school girls."
The sudden snarl in his voice took her off guard; he very rarely got livid, least of all directly at her.
"I said I was sorry," her tone weakened to its normal pace. "But if you just told me..."
"I can't!" Draco pressed a hand against his temple and began his rant. "Why must you be so persistent? Merlin, I don't know how you manage to keep up with such determination for such simple and meaningless things!" He continued this way for roughly ten minutes, naming various times when Hermione had shown any determination over concise situations – like the time she wanted to know the exact origin of the kitchen china. While he did this she clasped her hands behind her back and waited patiently for him to finish.
When he stopped, his breath came in shallow pants. The fire had been weakening until it was almost completely dark in the room, she could see a light silhouette around his figure. His gulps for air calmed and he kissed her gently. "But I suppose its one of the reasons I love you." he concluded quietly, she smiled.
"I know, but you're quite right. I am very persistent when I have a question plaguing my head. So Draco," she smiled sweetly, "put my mind to ease and tell me. What is your Patronus?"
He groaned, his face flushed as he pulled out his wand from his robe pocket. "Expecto Patronum!"
A silvery mist shot out of the tip of his wand, filling the room to the brim with a welcoming light. The billowing steam gathered together gradually, increasing every moment to shape a figure, she cocked her head to the side to decipher the animals petite structure.
Hermione suppressed a giggle; it took the form of a bouncing, white ferret.
After a moment of discomfited silence, she spoke. "I… don't see what's so embarrassing."
The end! Well, I finally finished a oneshot! Its short and not that well written since I wrote it just last night so please tell me what you think!
Please read and review!